Utah’s Wasatch Powderbird Guides saw a 53-percent increase in reservations in 2010/2011 thanks to its expansion of operations in Park City. In addition to its original base, a state-of-the-art heliport between Alta and Snowbird in Little Cottonwood Canyon, WPG now offers operations out of Canyons Resort. Both offer access to WPG’s 80,000 acres of terrain.
With a typical guide-to-guest ratio of 1:4, WPG selects terrain based on the group’s ability, whether it’s bowls and basins or chutes and steeps. Sign up a week after a storm, when the resorts are skied out, and WPG will fly you to sheltered, north-facing goods where you'll choke on Utah powder for seven hours.
In addition to their Utah operations, WPG also runs an international heli-ski operation in Greenland and South America.
If You Go:
Travel: Near Snowbird Ski and Mountain Resort, located in Little Cottonwood Canyon just 29 miles from Salt Lake City International Airport.
Basic Package: Continental breakfast, seven runs, après-ski lunch.
Years in Biz: 40
Size of Tenure: 80,000 acres
Snowfall: 500 inches
Size of Group: Eight skiers, plus two guides
Guarantee: Six to seven runs. If you can’t fly due to weather, WPG will reschedule your fly day. Every day, they have eight rollover seats reserved for clients who have been skunked. If you can’t reschedule, WPG will refund your deposit.
How they Charge: A $500 deposit per seat is required at the time of booking. Full payment is due 30 days in advance. Book early for discounted rates. Discount Rates: $1050-$1120 (depending on month); Regular Rates: $1190-$1330 Extra Run: $150. Seats forfeited more than 30 days in advance will be subject to a $50 cancellation fee; seats cancelled less than 30 days in advance are subject to a $500 cancelletion fee and those cancelled within 24 hours are subject to the full price.